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Drain Cleaning Tips | Home Drain Cleaning Remedies

Tips for the Handy Home Owner.

Not every clogged drain requires our professional assistance.  At the same time, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent drain clogs in the first place

While the following is far from an exhaustive group of drain cleaning tips, it’s one we’re positive will come in handy.

Plain Ol’ Hot Water.

What could be simpler, right?  Especially when one good dousing with piping hot water is all it takes to a clogged drain running fee and easy again.  In fact, flushing a drain or toilet often can free up clogged materials and built up gunk through a simple combination of water pressure, force and heat.

For best results, try running hot water through your clogged or dirty drains for about 15 minutes. If it’s your toilet that’s clogged, start with a tea kettle full and use more as needed.

All You Need are a Few Tools.

If you don’t already have one, head to your nearest home center or hardware store and pick up two plungers, not just one: a long-handled plunger for your toilet and a short-handed version for up-close work in your sinks.

Either way, the technique is the same.  Cover the drain completely with the plunger and push back and forth non-stop for up to two minutes at a time.  You don’t need to use excessive force, especially since continuous effort produces a better end result.

Homemade Liquid Cleaners

If you think plunging and hot water can work modern day miracles, wait until you try the combined action of distilled white vinegar and baking soda.  Have a slow moving drain or one that’s pretty much standing still?  First, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, then chase it with a cup of the vinegar.  Give it about five minutes to loosen things up inside the drain, and then finish off your concoction with a tea kettle full of boiling water.  If at first it doesn’t work, try, try, one more time…at least.

How to Use a Drain Snake

Want to look and feel a little more like a pro?  Than equip yourself with a drain snake for all those occasions when plunging and liquid applications don’t produce the desired result.

If you decide a drain needs snaking, here’s what you do:

  1. Feed the snake through your drain pipes, turning the handle clockwise until you encounter resistance.
  2. Rotate the snake against the blockage, thereby allowing the snake to latch onto the  clogged materials.
  3. Slowly pull the snake out of the drain and, if appropriate, re-attach the drain cover.

Sugared Sodas: Your Drain Clearing Ally

Carbonated beverages work much like baking soda and vinegar to clear clogged drain pipes.  Plus, they’re a whole safer on your pipes than chemical drain cleaners.  What’s their secret ingredient?  Phosphoric acid. Who knew?

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Wouldn’t life be simpler if you could proactively prevent drain clogs?  Of course it would.  That’s why you should practice these common sense preventative steps:

  • Pour grease, fat, and oils (FOG) into a disposable container vs. pouring them down your drain.
  • Don’t put any stringy, fibrous foods in your garbage disposal.
  • As silly as it might sound, keep food wrappers out of your drains, too. You’d be surprised how often we’re called in for service only to discover that all the mess was caused by a piece of cellophane or a plastic sandwich bag.
  • Don’t use your toilet as a trash can. It can only effectively dispose of waste matter and toilet paper.  Anything else should be disposed of elsewhere.

How about you…have you inherited or developed a singularly effective drain clearing technique that you’d like to share with us?  If so, we’d love to hear from you and, with your permission, post it on our website.